Germany’s Daniel Abt romped to a home ABB FIA Formula E Championship race win in Berlin to cap off the perfect day for fans who watched manufacturer Audi record a one-two at the BMW i8 Berlin E-Prix.
Abt and teammate Lucas di Grassi, who secured his fourth second-placed finish in a row, dominated in front of fans who witnessed a German win the Berlin E-Prix for the first time in four years, Abt's second of the season, at a canter as the Audi Sport ABT flexed its muscles.
Championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne finished in third and thanks to closest challenger Sam Bird only ending seventh the Frenchman looks in good stead as the Championship enters the final three races.
Vergne has opened the gap to Bird up to 40 points but the Englishman will most likely need a disaster for Vergne in at least once race of the remaining three in Zurich and New York for the title not to be heading to France.
Bird’s Championship hopes looked to be in trouble early on after a disappointing qualifying which resulted in him starting tenth while Vergne showed his confidence by coming out and setting the second fastest lap without a warm up.
The German fans were given the dream start to the day as Abt came out fastest in the Super Pole, and survived an FIA investigation into his energy use, to start on pole in his home race.
Racing on a custom-built track at the historic Tempelhof Airport, the drivers faced an abrasive surface and it was felt immediately as the Championship’s third-placed driver Felix Rosenqvist slid off on the first corner to drop all the way to 17th.
Dragon’s Jerome D’Ambrosio who found himself in third place was soon eaten up by Vergne, Lucas di Grassi and Sebastien Buemi who joined Turvey and Abt in to make up the front five while Bird was stuck in eighth through the first quarter of the race.
Di Grassi, who has roared back into form after technical problems with his Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler ended, stole third place from Vergne with a clean overtake and the Frenchman also left out to Buemi moments later.
Second-placed Turvey also then lost out to the quick Audi vehicle just a lap later.
Vergne was able to bite back against the Swiss Buemi on lap 21 to open up a four-place gap between him and closest rival Bird. Rosenqvist had got himself to 12th but his already slim title hopes looked in tatters.
At the pit stop Abt lost three seconds to Di Grassi after being forced to wait for a passing car so the pair came out nose to tail and the cars were looking so dominant they only had to worry about racing each other.
Bird was able to reign Vergne in to just two places in front but the Frenchman cruised past Turvey a minute later to regain the gap and then quickly nipped past Buemi as well to rise into third place.
D’Ambrosio had a horrible day at the office to fall from starting fourth to ending in 19th and a spin from Jose Maria Lopez meant that the back of the grid shoock up and Maro Engel, Nick Heidfeld and Andre Lotterer all nipped into the points.
This summed up the day for the German crowd as Abt crossed as winner with no need even for team orders to come into effect as he finished more than six seconds clear – the 25-year-old reminding everyone of his considerable talent.
Formula E will now head to Zurich in June 10 for the penultimate race weekend.
JEV - 162
Bird - 122
Felix - 85
Abt - 86